Indian General Service Medal, with bar for Abor 1911-12, awarded to Subadar Jangbir Rana, 1912
Obverse, a bust of King George V facing left
Reverse, Jamrud fort overlooking the Khyber Pass with mountains behind
Indian General Service Medal, 1912
The India Medal of 1895 having needed alteration for its last issues due to the death of Queen Victoria, in 1908 it was decided to replace it entirely with a new medal of Edward VII, first issued in 1909. When the first issue was made under King George V, in 1911, Richard Garbe designed a new obverse but the medal was otherwise unaltered.
Part of the border between India and Tibet is settled by the isolated tribe known today as the Adis. The Indian troops campaigning against this people between October 1911 and April 1912 knew them instead as the Abors, which is supposedly an Assamese coining meaning `those who cannot be controlled'. This nicely encapsulates the opposition that lay behind the campaign.
This medal was awarded to Subadar Jangbir Rana, of the 8th Gurkha Rifles. It is one of four medals that were awarded to him that are now in the Watson Collection; the others precede. The medals are not attached to each other, so although the Watson Collection catalogue considers them as Group 3, they have been treated separately here. All the same, it was as a group that Lester Watson purchased them from the dealer Gifford, in 1928.